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Real estate investors eyeing Abu Dhabi property market as prices stabilise

Stabilising prices is one reason that more property sales are going through with real estate now more attractive, says the latest sales price index from consultants Landmark Advisory.

Transaction volumes on villas and apartments nearing completion increased in May with villa values bottoming out. Prices for villas have now fallen 45% since the third quarter of 2008 but the decline has now slowed. Villa price are stable but there was a 5 to 10% decline in the first three months of 2009 in apartment prices.

'There has been a noticeable increase in terms of sales as more developments are nearing completion. We have witnessed more end-users emerging as buyers as they become more confident in investing in the market again and we expect this interest to increase as more units become available,' said Jesse Downs, director of research, at Landmark Advisory, the research and consultancy arm of Landmark Properties, a Dubai-based real estate broker.

Property prices near the business districts of Reem Island and Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi had been most resilient, Downs said.

The first phases of some key developments are set to be completed within the next six to nine months and this will keep interest high. 'The delivery of these units will be the first of the recent freehold era in Abu Dhabi and we predict that the handover will boost the market and renew interest further,' Downs said. But demand for off plan property is near non existent, the report reinforces.

The United Arab Emirates real estate market has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, but Abu Dhabi has held up better compared to neighbouring Dubai due to a housing supply shortage and because prices had not risen as fast during the boom years.